Breaking the Wall

August 13, 2020

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Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  


Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.


I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie


Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran the first 8.02 (we missed the turnaround by a bit) with Jeff and Ted. Well, actually a good part of it was without them as I had 3 VPBs and then took forever to catch up due to slippery conditions. The last stop was with about 0.8 to go, and then I started booking it because I wanted to catch them before they got to my house. With about 600 to go it was finally dry enough to go 5:20 pace. With about 150 to go an SUV passed me, and then tried to pass Ted and Jeff, but could not get around them. So I passed the SUV back. It always feels good when you can pass a car running. Then I passed Ted and Jeff as well, and just kept going to time my last quarter, which was 1:20. Last 0.75 was 4:17. Then we ran to the snow field and did stride measurements. All of us had even length strides off either foot this time. Jeff went home after that, Ted ran to 10.02 with me. Then I added 5 more. Towards the end started feeling like a tempo, so I did pickups on dry section. Timed a 200 in 39 down 1% grade, and then ran the last quarter, which had some icy spots, in 1:23. Total time for 15.02 was 1:47:17.

Did the magic hip stretches.

P.M. 1 mile with Julia to the ice sculpture and back in 10:31, 1.5 with Jenny in 13:25, 2 with Benjamin in 17:57 - his foot was hurting, and 0.7 in 4:50 by myself. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.12Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.12
From George on Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 22:08:26

Curious - what is your stride frequency? I am hearing that single leg ought to be 90+ a minute but I find that is a bit of a challenge for me.

Live it.


From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 23:32:57

About 180-190, and it happens naturally. Do not worry about yours too much. With proper balance of the muscles and the nervous system it will be where it needs to be. Mine used to be around 175, and I did not do anything special - just run th e miles overtime.

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